"where now are the bones of merlin." well, local legend has it that merlin, who was the wise old man of king arthur's court, lies buried in this mound and the mound was the origin of marlborough. the great height of the mound gave it a strategic importance, and when the normans arrived here in the 11th century, they chose it as a site for a castle, able to command the countryside for miles around and, in particular, the great west road... even then, the main route from london to bath, a great trading road since roman times, which helps to explain why marlborough has so many public houses. in the 19th century this was the castle inn, a popular overnight stop on the old coaching route between london and bath. one night in 1841, over dinner, a group of people met and one of them said, "mm, what a place for a school." unlike most conversations in pubs, someone actually took him seriously. within a couple of years, 200 boys moved in to begin their lessons.